By U.S. Representative Jared Polis
As your U.S. Representative, I have always been honored to serve you. I am continually humbled by communities in our district,
particularly during and after the 2013 floods. Neighbors helped neighbors, and volunteer groups grew from need and are continuing to operate even years later. Resilient only begins to describe the communities affected by the floods.
We have rebuilt highways and roads, homes, parks, and everything in between. Last summer, I met with town council and walked around what was Meadow Park, now the LaVern M. Johnson Park. The park is a symbol of progress, and I’m excited to take my kids there, but we must persist. There is much more work to complete.
On the financial end, in the U.S. House of Representatives, I was successful in changing the law to prevent unfair attempts by FEMA to collect erroneous payments that were dispersed through no fault of the applicants and to set a time limit for recoupments from municipalities. Small towns need to know that FEMA will not come knocking ten or twenty years later for repayment. Together, with your stories, the House of Representatives approved legislation to waive recoupment payments where homeowners were incorrectly paid through no fault of their own.
Learning from what we endured, Congress has acted to make federal laws stronger and more adaptable during and after natural disasters. Our district is paving the way for change. It is my hope that when the next natural disaster occurs, whether in Colorado or elsewhere, the nation is able to respond with greater efficiency, using what we have learned.
I hope you get to enjoy the new LaVern M. Johnson Park as you reflect on how far we have come in the past three years. You are why I serve.
Jared Polis has represented the Second Congressional District of Colorado since 2008. Polis serves on the Committee on Rules, the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and the Committee on Natural Resources.